Toronto divorce lawyers are well aware that divorce rates are quite high in Canada. As a result, there are many newly single adults on the dating scene for the first time in 5, 15, or 25 years. A divorce may leave you feeling isolated, alienated or with negative feelings about relationships; take solace that you are not alone.

While dating after divorce may seem daunting and overwhelming, it does not have to be. Taking ownership over your dating life is made simple by following these three tips. Like any endeavour, creating a plan is the first step to success. These initial steps will aid any divorcee to find perspective and begin the introspective journey of self-discovery post divorce.

1. What do you want?
One of the great privileges of dating after divorce is the space to reflect on one’s own wants and needs. It’s all about you. The first question to ask yourself is “What do you want?” Dating may seem like a natural step for divorcees, but one should not feel pressured or compelled to date. A Toronto divorce lawyer will advise you that while the law is full of rules, the only rules when it comes to dating after divorce are those that you set for yourself. Some adults choose not to date for personal, religious, or cultural reasons.  Others choose to date for fun, whilst others embark on a search for love. It does not matter so much what you choose, so long as you are honest and conscious of your motivations. Be sincere with yourself  about what you want and why you want it.

2. Personal Standards
Toronto divorce lawyers often act as mediators and negotiators during the separation process wherein each party communicates what he or she wants. Similarly, when it is time to think about dating; it is imperative that you communicate what personal traits and assets you want in a partner. The second tip is to set your personal standards. As an adult, you are better situated to identify exactly what you are looking for in a relationship. Again, there are no steadfast rules. You may be looking for another spouse, or simply a casual liaison; nevertheless, you are entitled to have your needs fulfilled. Moreover, what are the standards you set for yourself? How much of yourself are you willing to give or to share? What are your relationship deal breakers? Delineating these boundaries beforehand will save you from confusion and heartbreak later on. In summary, identify your standards for a partner, for a relationship, and for yourself.

3. Work on Other Relationships First
You may have woken up to the same man or woman every day for years. The thought of having someone else fill that physical and emotional space may feel uncomfortable and intimidating. Instead of finding a “replacement” or “rebound,” first work on creating non-romantic relationships. Rekindle old friendships that you may have let slide during your marriage or divorce. Ensure that these old friendships are healthy and positive to your new post-divorce self. It is highly encouraged to create new friendships with individuals who are not part of your past and share common characteristics with your future. Developing a new support circle allows one to practice opening up to new acquaintances, engaging in social events and affirming one’s single-hood without the pressure of dating. For example, there are a number of groups and events for divorced singles looking to connect in both romantic and non-romantic ways. In addition, when you do decide to date; you will have an entire support structure consisting of people that know exactly what you are going through.

Dating After Divorce: Taking Action
Dating After Divorce: The Next Step is Dating